Effective Campaign Development: How to Make your Collaborations Thrive

When partnering with influencers, it’s not just about selecting people and providing guidelines, it’s about creating genuine connections and encouraging creativity. Influencer marketing has the power to reach niche markets and motivate audiences to not only purchase products but to become invested in a brand and its vision.

Alongside feedback from the Freestak community, we’ve put together some key guidelines to help take your campaign to the next level.

Selecting the right influencers – Creating authentic connections

Selecting the right influencers for your campaign can be challenging, but ultimately it’s about who can represent your brand most effectively. Are yours and their values in line?

Asking influencers to change their style to fit those of a brand will not only compromise their authenticity as a creator but will ultimately generate disingenuous content. Therefore, it’s important to select influencers who already align with your brand ethos and objectives.

“As a content creator you have your basic beliefs and a high level of integrity,” @running_krister_alter_schwede said. “If the brand has the right content creators, the campaign gets a high level of dynamic [content] and an authentic approach.”

By doing research into who you want to collaborate with, brands can find creators whose existing style fits with the vision and objectives of the campaign.

How do you know the relationship is right?

When the person who is doing the content creation believes in that brand and would do it anyway regardless of whether they were being paid or not.” @elmcthunderthighs

Campaign objectives – Genuine stories over vanity metrics

High ‘likes’ on photos are great in the moment, but have little value in of themselves if a long-term relationship with potential customers is not formed. Campaigns that focus on deepening the bigger picture of a brand’s story, creating awareness and connections, are what have the power to capture an audience and down the line convert them into customers.

“When brands partner with content creators they should be looking to generate genuine stories that resonate with their target market,” @jamesdpoole said. “It doesn’t mean that production value needs to be sacrificed, but they need to be expecting a less polished collection of assets.”

A clear understanding of the campaign objectives is essential; however, when it comes to the creation of content @jamesdpoole feels “a light touch” is the best approach.

“Strong direction on style – examples of brand imagery, etc. – just ends up making the campaign feel like a low budget version of a professional shoot,” he said. “Allowing the creator to work within a framework the gives the overall intention keeps things authentic and natural.”

During his involvement with KEEN Footwear, @jamesdpoole was able to show his experience with the shoes while also sharing his overall adventure and personal journey in a candid, original way.


Provide guidelines, not rules – Clear deliverables with creative freedom

Retaining creative control throughout work with brands is a top priority for the Freestak community. As a result, we ensure our briefs are clear in communicating what the brand is looking for, but also open-ended enough for influencers to express their creative freedom.

“I think content creators should have enough freedom that when they are discussing the product on social media, they should be able to speak in their own words,” @khanrunning said. “Followers can easily pick out when a creator is reading from a script and tell if a creator is being genuine.”

It’s important to present guidelines to creators that don’t make them feel obligated to change their routines or content in order to display a product. @khanrunning believes the biggest content objective to be left open for creative control is allowing the creator to develop content as part of their own life – showing how a product has impacted them on a personal level.

“It’s easy to create content about a product that I enjoy and believe in, and that content is more easily digested by my followers because it isn’t forced,” he said.

Here are some examples of frequently used deliverables that don’t limit creativity:

  1. Posting time frame
  2. Specific hashtags
  3. Number of posts
  4. Use of stories
  5. Write a Blog post

“I think it has to be clear from the get-go that both parties are in understanding and believe in the same goals and values,” @bennoeatworld said. “If both parties are clear about this from the start then there should be no objection for us to have creative freedom.”


  • Take the time to research influencers and ensure your selections coincide with the brand’s existing values, vision and campaign objectives.
  • Focus your campaign objective on captivating an audience by encouraging the influencers you work with to share their personal stories and experiences with the brand and products.
  • Provide productive, clear guidelines and deliverable to your influencers while encouraging creative freedom and personalized content.

For more information and a free 30 minute consultation on what we could do for your brand, please contact simon@freestak.co.uk.


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